QikPod, a yet-to-be-launched startup founded by serial entrepreneur Ravi Gururaj that will offer locker services, has raised $9 million (Rs 60 crore) in funding led by e-commerce company Flipkart and venture capital firm Accel Partners.
Logistics service provider Delhivery and Taiwanese electronics vendor Foxconn also put money in this round, as per a media statement.
QikPod, operated by Bangalore-based LeapMile Logistics Pvt Ltd, will use the funds to build a nationwide network of fully automated lockers, build team and focus on technology innovation. The lockers will reduce the hassle of re-delivering couriers when customers are not physically present, the company said.
"QikPod solves the problem of people not being home to receive their e-commerce orders through a network of fully-automated, self-serve and smart lockers," said Gururaj, who is also CEO of the company.
The company plans to install 50,000 lockers across the country. The lockers will be installed at receptions and lobbies of apartment buildings and offices as well as in retail outlets such as coffee shops and grocery stores. The service is currently free to consumers as well as for locations that wish to install a locker.
Few companies in India provide such locker services. Last month, courier company Blue Dart Express introduced a similar service in Gurgaon.
Gururaj has previously founded companies including VMLogix Inc and SQA Technologies Pvt Ltd. US-based Accel Partners, active in India since 2005, has backed marquee names such as Flipkart, Mu Sigma and BookMyShow, among others.
Accel provides seed and early-stage capital to companies in sectors such as infrastructure, technology, internet and consumer services, mobile, software and cloud-enabled services, media, life sciences and consumer products. In October, the firm invested in Mubble, an Android app that allows prepaid cell phone users to do postpaid-like usage tracking.